Northeast Party House

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Northeast Party House

For fans of Northeast Party House, the wait for their sophomore album has been epic. Now, following on from their 2014 debut, Any Given Weekend, they have just released their latest record Dare.

Lead single ‘For You’ isn’t all the boys have up their sleeves. They’ll be hitting the road for a massive album tour, with so many stops lined up there’s no excuse for missing them, which is nice, as it’s been almost a year since we saw them grace an Australian stage. Mitch Ansell, Northeast Party House’s guitarist, chats the ins and outs of all things Dare.

“The writing of Dare was spanned over a pretty long time. We kicked it off when we finished Any Given Weekend. We don’t write too much together initially, we’ll all go off into our bedrooms, turn the lights off and not eat for a year while we get it done. We’ll write our own little things then email them to each other and get feedback. It wasn’t until January this year that we all finally got the demos together and put them into a playlist,” Ansell says.

“We culled a lot, then started working at a friend’s studio in Brunswick, where we had all our gear set up in this little office space. It was pretty funny, but it worked. It was all business, we got a lot done and the songs really started to develop. This time we wanted to do a smarter album, in terms of songwriting, and something a little more melodic; songs that told a story, but were really fun, and that we’d like to play live.”

Dare was written and recorded internationally, as the band traversed back and forth between Melbourne and London. The result is an album that was written largely as it was recorded, with Northeast Party House taking on all the production in-house, and their drummer, Malcolm Besley, doing all the mixing and mastering himself.

“We were in London, and we were at a point where we realised we were running out of time. We booked a few sessions at Hackney Road Studios and got a heap done. Then we went straight into the studio when we got back, and we were writing and recording at the same time. Say I wanted to write this riff, we’d get that tone, the final peddles, amps, etc., and whatever we recorded was the final take. Mal was there recording and mixing, and then we all individually produced bits,” Ansell says.

“It was a full band production in a lot of ways. We trusted Mal as a sound engineer. He just keeps getting better as the years go by. I think because we were still writing at the same time, it would’ve been too weird to have someone else come in from the outside.”

The writing of Dare was a two month process, and along with all the jetsetting and hardcore hermit time spent in dark bedrooms, Ansell is emphatic on one point, these songs were written to be performed. After a year overseas, Northeast Party House are ready to bring their show back to Australia, complete with some new tunes straight for the studio.

“We always think of the live show. It’s our favourite part of this whole band-life thing, so we always try to curate to the live show. When you have an album tour, you’re going to play a lot of new songs,” he says. “Seeing as how a lot of the people who come to our shows won’t really have absorbed the album yet [as it was only released September 9), we won’t drench them in too much new stuff, but there’ll definitely be a few new songs in there. It’s going to be a bit of a mix.

“It was interesting playing overseas the last couple of times. They’ve been quite calculated shows, because we’ve been playing these showcase type festivals, like CMJ in New York, where you have five hundred bands from around the world all meeting up in the same place. It’s general public, but the focus is on bringing in the different labels and managers and such. We’re psyched to get back to Australia. There’s a different culture with music in Australia. We have a pretty passionate fanbase here. Overseas, people kind of sit back and appreciate it, whereas in Melbourne, where it all began with our mates being super young and super loose, you know what you’re gonna get. You can go nuts.”

When & Where: Karova Lounge, Ballarat – October 7

Written by Seth Robinson